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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Video Cards | Video Card Performance ]

Relationship to the Processor and Other Components

The video card and its performance level are tied tightly to the performance of the other components in the system. The most important one of these is the CPU itself. A PC with a top caliber processor will have faster video performance than one with a slower CPU, all else being equal. The type of motherboard (and chipset) and the amount and type of memory and system cache also have an effect, as does the system bus (discussed above).

The degree to which video performance is tied to processor performance depends on what the application is. Some applications are more able to make use of the internal acceleration features of high end cards. In this situation, the impact of the processor on overall video performance is minimized. In other cases such as standard VGA, the processor is doing all of the work of determining what will be displayed on the screen. In this case, the CPU's type and speed can have more of an impact on video performance than the video card itself.

Next: Relationship to Operating Systems and Applications

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